Theresa May has refused to explain why she sacked George Osborne during a live TV interview.

When asked why she fired the former Chancellor, Ms May praised his service in Government, but refused to discuss why she ejected him from his position.

“George has contributed hugely to British politics over the last few years, both in Government and in opposition," she told the BBC's Andrew Marr.

When reminded again that she sacked him, she said: "I was putting together my team, I have a great team of Cabinet ministers.

"We have great discussions around the Cabinet table as we’re putting our policies together, as we’re taking forward that vision we share."

After assuming office Ms May purged the Cabinet of David Cameron's closest allies, widely known as the Notting Hill set.

Among them was Mr Osborne. Widespread speculation has since suggested a deep rift has developed between the pair, with claims the former Chancellor disliked Ms May and was rude to her in Cabinet meetings.

Mr Osborne has also publicly criticised Ms May's focus on introducing grammar schools.

Many have interpreted the Prime Minister's criticism of the economy not working "for everyone" as veiled criticism of the way the former Chancellor handled the nation's finances.

During the interview Ms May ended weeks of speculation by announcing that she will launch formal Brexit negotiations with EU leaders by the end of March 2017.